Do you think you may want to go a little further educationally? Is a PhD beckoning? Are you concerned about completing your degree because you know too many people who are "ABD" or "All But the Dissertation"?
The Council of Graduate Schools (CGS), with financial support from Pfizer and the Ford Foundation, have established the Ph.D. Completion Project to study the factors that increase Ph.D. completion rates, which rarely exceed 75%. So far research has determined six key factors:
- Financial Support
- Program Environment
- Research Mode of the Field
- Processes & Procedures
While I don’t think the presence of these six factors is a big shock, the absence of "Academic Ability" from the list is mildly surprising. Apparently lack of ability is not a major factor in completion rates.
If you are considering continuing for a Ph.D., you can use these factors as guides in determining which programs will best support your ambitions and assist you in reaching your goal.
For more detailed information on the Ph.D. Completion Project, please visit their Web site or review two recent articles on the Project’s work and findings.
- Why and When Ph.D. Students Finish
- New Data Offer a Rosier Picture of Ph.D.-Completion Rates (Subscription Required)